SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, September 3, 2018 — There are around 20,000 public restrooms in Seoul open to citizens in subways, parks, community centers, gym facilities and underground commercial arcades. The Seoul Metropolitan Government will give a daily check for all public restrooms starting from October. It is to help citizens to feel safe when they use the public restrooms, free from concerns about spy cams. Restrooms cleaners will monitor the restrooms. If they find something wrong, they will directly report to responsible departments of Seoul or district offices. Then Seoul city’s female safety guards will give a detailed check.
Seoul will also give a regular check (more than twice a week) for 3,803 privately-owned Restrooms open to the public such as the restrooms at gas stations. Each district sets up a monitoring team by through the jobs for vulnerable groups and youth volunteers (eg. Spy cam guard in Seocho-gu)
Seoul designates about 1,000 restrooms (around 40 restrooms in each Gu) for special care. Those restrooms, which are public ones owned by the government and the private ones open to the public, are usually located in red light districts, or have old facility, or frequently receive civic complaints. Seoul city’s female safety guards will have an intensive monitoring on those places at least once a week.
Next year, Seoul city will provide a tailored support for about 100,000 restrooms at the privately-owned buildings which are open to the public. It’s not mandatory for the owners of those buildings to install gender-segregated restrooms. By giving the tailored support, Seoul puts its effort in creating a safer environment. The Seoul city government will provide the subsidy for construction of gender-segregated toilet. If it’s not available due to building structure, Seoul will encourage user to use the toilets on different floors by gender. Seoul also can provide subsidy for installing CCTV at the entry gate, emergency bell, and automatic door locks. To do so, the city government will conduct research on the entire restrooms by the end of this year.
According to a 20-day-long comprehensive research since August 1st, Seoul has 20,554 public restrooms. 8,157 people will be in charge of the management of those restrooms. Once they are fully dispatched, every single person will monitor about 2.5 public restrooms every day. Public restrooms consist of 13,373 places in public offices ▴ 3,986 in parks and streets ▴ 1,340 in subway stations ▴ 1,261 in gym facilities and ▴ 594 in markets and commercial arcades.
The Seoul Metro Government says that “there’s not much room for the public sector to intervene in the privately-owned restroom operation, but Seoul will conduct a full research by the end of this year. Based on the result, City of Seoul will provide the subsidy for improving the conditions and encourage the installation of gender-segregated restrooms. Seoul will make a proposal to revise regulations so that the newly-built private buildings would install the gender-segregated toilets from the beginning. To do so, Seoul will build up a close cooperative relationship with relevant agencies including districts and Korea Institute of Registered Architects.
※ Key details of spy-cam-free and safe restrooms
○ Inspection of spy cams in public restrooms (public and privately-owned but open to the public)
|Subject of inspection||Inspection manager||Inspection details||Timeline|
|20,554 public restrooms||8,157 cleaners||Daily check and record||From October|
|3,803 privately-owned restrooms which are open to public||From a pool of the jobs that districts provide for the marginalized, and youth volunteer groups||Regular check (twice a week)||From October|
|1,000 places under special care (among the public and privately-owned but open to public restrooms)||
Seoul city’s female safety guard
|Intensive check (at least once a week)||From mid of September|
○ Inspection of spy cams in public restrooms (public and privately-owned but open to public)
|Self-check||– Implementing the “Seoul City’s Inspection and Check System”
– Renting out 100 inspection devices
|Gender segregation||– Conducting a full research on 100,000 privately-owned buildings which don’t have the obligation of installing the gender segregated toilets
– Subsidy support for construction of gender segregated toilets, and the installation of automatic door lock, CCTV at the entry gage
|From Oct to Dec
|Improvement of regulations||– Making a proposal over the construction rules for gender segregated restrooms and tax break
– Encouraging the to-be-built buildings to install gender-segregated restrooms